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UK, US agree to work to reopen travel as Johnson, Biden meet

Biden (right) and Johnson

Falmouth, Britain | XINHUA | British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday agreed to work to resume travel between the two countries and signed a new Atlantic Charter, as they met ahead of the Group of Seven (G7) summit.

“They agreed to work to reopen travel and to continue to share information that will help defeat the spread of coronavirus in our countries and internationally,” a Downing Street spokesperson said in a statement issued after the meeting that was held in Britain’s southwestern seaside resort of Carbis Bay in Cornwall.

The two countries pledged to deepen cooperation through the new Atlantic Charter that echoed the original one signed by then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and then U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941.

The new Charter outlined modern-day threats including illicit finance, violent conflict and extremism, climate change, and global health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the meeting, Biden and Johnson tried to smooth over their differences on the Northern Ireland issue, but are yet to find a real solution.

“The leaders agreed that both the EU and the UK had a responsibility to work together and to find pragmatic solutions to allow unincumbered trade between Northern Ireland, Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland,” said the Downing Street statement.

The British government has threatened to unilaterally extend the customs grace period on Irish Sea border checks over imports of some products to Northern Ireland from Great Britain, over which the EU is vowing retaliation.

The G7 summit will be held from Friday to Sunday, and protest groups have announced multiple protests.

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